Sunday, July 26, 2015

What Motivates Your Team?

How do you know what motivates your team?

I value curiosity, freedom and acceptance.  It's an easy mistake to make decisions based on your own motivations - but what about your team?  What motivates them?  How do you, as a leader make decisions that align with their motivations?

I'm a huge fan of Jurgen Appelo's Management 3.0 game "Moving Motivators".  It is deceivingly simple and incredibly insightful.  It’s a really simple tool that takes very little time to explain.

It starts with the following 10 cards that can be remembered with the acronym CHAMPFROGS:

  • Curiosity
  • Honour
  • Acceptance
  • Mastery
  • Power 
  • Freedom
  • Relatedness
  • Order
  • Goal
  • Status

You can the download the below cards from the Management 3.0 website.

Here are the 2 steps I take with my team:
  1. Rank your motivations from least to most important
    • record these rankings to skip this step in the future
  2. Consider a recent change and how it affected your recent motivators
    • move it up if it was positive
    • move it down if it was negative 

The game addresses how complex our motivations are.  There cards are a colourful way to give your team a language to consider what intrinsically motivates them.

It also is a great way to visualize how some things are more important than others.  Jurgen derived these 10 motivators from various reputable resources (Daniel Pink, Steven Reiss, Edward Deci).

Non-Confrontational and Effective

When reviewing these cards with another person, it can be non-confrontational as you are facing the cards and not each other.  A simple example with a co-worker may be, “How did moving from a large 20 person team to a small 5 person Scrum team affect your motivators?”.

Personally, I did this exercise with my team and found myself surprised by what I learned.   This tool allowed my team to speak specifically about what the found de-motivating and why they found it so. It also removed the need for us to debate on the change itself.  We focused solely on their motivations and how it affected them.

It’s also a great tool when you bring something up - and it doesn’t affect motivations at all.  You don’t need to talk about it.

I created the following 2 minute video to help illustrate how to play the game and why it is valuable:

I'd encourage anyone to try it out with their team, co-workers or even their managers. More interesting that the tool itself... is the dialogue it generates. I hope you find yourself as surprised as I was by learning what motivates your team.

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